1. Don't be afraid of the squirrels; they run this town.
2. Hold off on buying your books until you’ve gone to classes first. The bookstore is a feeding frenzy, and that Barnes & Noble book box screams: “Freshman!” Skip the line, and use Amazon or Chegg—they’re cheaper and easier.
3. Lose vocabulary like “period,” “grade” and “teacher.” Opt for “class,” “year” and “professor.”
4. Save your high school “SENIOR ’11” shirts and bookstore hand-out shirts that read: “I survived the first week of classes” until you can nostalgically wear them as upperclassmen. And leave behind the CarolinaCard on a lanyard; it looks like a dog collar.
5. Avoid clapping your hands in the Russell Patio clap circle and saying, “OMG, it echoes!” (And if you don’t know what this is, you may be in the demographic for this story.)
6. Take all the free stuff you can get—frisbees, sunglasses, burritos, events you’ve paid for in your student fees. Pick up a Carolina Productions (or G&B social events) calendar for ideas.
7. Avoid the late-night munchies as much as you can (Pop’s Pizza, Grilled Teriyaki, Sonic). It’s tough, but your pants size will thank you.
8. Make new friends, especially if you came to college with half your high school. This is a time for experiences and stories, not intense cliques. I often see groups of chatty girls who probably met the first week and instantly started getting every meal together and going to the Strom in packs, but be open to opportunities when they come your way.
9. Try dinner somewhere that isn’t GMP for a change of scenery and palette. Bates has an awesome buffet!
10. We know you’ll end up in Five Points, but please, try to look older. Guys, play up the facial hair (if you’ve got a lot of it, that is; Patchy the Pirate is a giveaway). Girls, well, you get away with everything, but guys and girls, be careful to not act like it’s your 21st birthday every Thursday night.
11. If the professor is about to let class out early, don’t be the obnoxious guy who says anything that makes everyone stay longer. Save your questions for after.
12. Get involved with an organization, even if you’re not sure it’s the one for you. You’ll meet people and go places. It’s pretty lame to be the kid who plays Xbox 24/7 in his dorm room.
13. Make sure to wear garnet to games, not red. We’re not Georgia.
14. When making casual convo, don’t tell other students: “This class seems so hard! I’ve never taken anything above a 200-level course before. Have you?” Giveaway.
15. When you trip over a brick on the Horseshoe, just walk it off. Learning to laugh at yourself is one of the most important things you can take away from college.
Once you’ve mastered university life, share these hints with future freshmen so they will look like college pros, too!
Really Bad Advice from an Upperclassman: By G&CKB
Never buy a single textbook. Just Google stuff. I mean, it’s not really necessary to go to class, if they don’t take attendance.
Never take notes. Just make friends with people who do.
The only time I go inside Thomas Cooper is to pee. What? They have a website. The weekend starts on Thursday.
It’s true that things you learn have value. Like term papers. Sell them.